×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Shape of Actions: What Humans and Machines Can Do / Edition 1
     

The Shape of Actions: What Humans and Machines Can Do / Edition 1

by Harry M. Collins
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0262032570

ISBN-13: 9780262032575

Pub. Date: 01/22/1999

Publisher: MIT Press

What can humans do? What can machines do? How do humans delegate actions to machines? In this book, Harry Collins and Martin Kusch combine insights from sociology and philosophy to provide a novel answer to these increasingly important questions.The authors begin by distinguishing between two basic types of intentional behavior, which they call polimorphic actions

Overview

What can humans do? What can machines do? How do humans delegate actions to machines? In this book, Harry Collins and Martin Kusch combine insights from sociology and philosophy to provide a novel answer to these increasingly important questions.The authors begin by distinguishing between two basic types of intentional behavior, which they call polimorphic actions and mimeomorphicb actions. Polimorphic actions (such as writing a love letter) are ones that community members expect to vary with social context. Mimeomorphic actions (such a swinging a golf club) do not vary. Although machines cannot act, they can mimic mimeomorphic actions.
Mimeomorphic actions are thus the crucial link between what humans can do and what machines can do.Following a presentation of their detailed categorization of actions, the authors apply their approach to a broad range of human-machine interactions and to learning. Key examples include bicycle riding and the many varieties of writing machines. They also show how their theory can be used to explain the operation of organizations such as restaurants and armies. Finally, they look at a historical case--the technological development of the air pump--applying their categorization of actions to the processes of mechanization and automation.
Automation, they argue, can occur only where what we want to bring about can be brought about through mimeomorphic action.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262032575
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
01/22/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface ix
1 Humans and Machines
1(6)
2 Methods and Principles
7(24)
3 Morphicity: What the Action Is
31(24)
4 A Theory of Interaction
55(20)
5 Morphicity and Human Competence
75(16)
6 Writing
91(22)
7 Machine Behavior and Human Action
113(24)
8 Organizations and Machines
137(26)
9 The Automation of Air Pumps
163(30)
10 Conclusion: Dichotomies and History
193(6)
References 199(8)
Index 207

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews